Imam Qurtubi: Is an Islamic Will Mandatory?

•June 21, 2012 • Leave a Comment

al-Baqara Verse No:180

كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذَا حَضَرَ أَحَدَكُمُ الْمَوْتُ إِن تَرَكَ خَيْرًا الْوَصِيَّةُ لِلْوَالِدَيْنِ وَالأقْرَبِينَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ حَقًّا عَلَى الْمُتَّقِينَ

Prescribed for you when death approaches [any] one of you if he leaves wealth [is that he should make] a bequest for the parents and near relatives according to what is acceptable – a duty upon the righteous.

This is the ‘Ayat of the Will’. It was revealed before the revelation of the statutory shares of inheritance and their laws… The word ‘wasiya’ can designate anything which someone instructs to be done whether during his lifetime or after his death. Custom, however, has designated it to be a declaration of what is to be done after death.

Scholars disagree about whether it is obligatory for those who leave property to make a will, although they agree that it is mandatory for those who hold deposits [for others] and have debts. Most scholars believe that a will is not mandatory for those who have neither of these. That is the position of Malik, as-Shafi, and ath-Thawri, whether a person is rich or poor. Another group including az-Zuhri and Abu Mijlaz say that making a will is mandatory, judging by the literal text of the Quran, whether a person has a little or a lot of wealth. Abu Thawr said that a will is only mandatory for a man who has a debt or wealth belonging to others and then it is obligatory for him to write a will, saying what he owes. As for someone who has no debts or deposits, it is not mandatory for him to make one unless he wishes to do so. Ibn al-Mundhir said, ‘This is good because Allah has made it obligatory to return trusts to their owners but it is not mandatory for someone who holds goods on trust to make a will.

The people with the first view use what is related from Ibn Umar as evidence. He said that the Messenger of Allah S, said, ‘It is not right for a Muslim man who owes something which he should specify in a will to spend two nights without making a written will.’ One variant says three nights. Those who argue the opposite say that, if it was mandatory, it would not have been left to the discretion of the one making the will.

If it is said that Allah’s use of the words, ‘prescribed for you’ means that it is mandatory, the answer to that is in the previous ayat. It is only when you want to make a will, and Allah knows best. an-Nakhai said, ‘The Messenger of Allah S died without making a will. Abu Bakr made a will. It is good to make a will but there is nothing wrong in not making one.’
Source: Tafsir al-Qurtubi

The 27th of Rajab and the Practice of the Prophet S

•June 16, 2012 • Leave a Comment

It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira R   that the Holy Prophet   said:"If someone keeps the fast on the twenty-seventh day of Rajab, he will be credited with the same reward as that which is earned by fasting for sixty months." And it was on this day that Jibraeel alayhis salaam first came down to invest the Holy Prophet  with Messengership. [Ibn al-Mubarik al-Saqati]

Isra MirajAbu Huraira R and Salman al-Farsi R  said that the Holy Prophet  said: "Rajab contains a very special day and a very special night. If someone fasts during that day, and keeps vigil throughout that night, he will be entitled to a reward like the one that would be
earned by a person who fasted for a hundred years,  and who kept vigil throughout all the nights in that period." [Baihaqi]

It is narrated from Al-Hasan al-Basri R, who said: "Whenever the twenty-seventh of Rajab came around, Abdullah ibn Abbas R would start the day in i’takif. He would devote the whole morning to prayer, up to and including the obligatory ritual prayer at noon [Dhuhr]. After performing the noon prayer, he would stroll about for a little while to stretch his legs, then he would perform an extra salat-prayer consisting of four cycles. In each cycle [rak’a], he would recite Surah Al-Fatiha one time only, then Surah Al-Falaq & Surah An-Naas [Al-Mu’awwidhataan], also one time only, then Surah Al-Qadr [#97] three times, and then Surah Al-Ikhlaas fifty times. He would then devote himself to continuous supplication [du’a], until it was time to perform the obligatory late-afternoon ritual prayer (‘Asr). ‘This,’ he used to say, ‘is exactly what Allah’s Messenger S always did on this particular day.’" [Ibn al-Mubarik al-Saqati]

Sh. Abdul Qadir Jilani R writes in the Ghunya that the scholars have deemed the following 14 nights for all night worship, and fasting [except where fasting is not permissible, i.e. the 2 eids, and refers to night vigil only on those days]:
1.  The 1st  of Muharram
2.  The 10th of  Muharram (Ashura)
3.  The 1st  of Rajab
4.  The 15th of Rajab
5.  The 27th of Rajab
6.  The 15th of Sha’ban
7.  The 1st  of Shawwal (Eid-ul-Fitr)
8.  The 9th of Dhul Hijjah (Arafa)
9.  The 10th of Dhul Hijjah
10. The 21st  of Ramadan
11. The 23rd of Ramadan
12. The 25th of Ramadan
13. The 27th of Ramadan
14. The 29th of Ramadan

Source: Shaykh Abdul-Qadir Jilani R  Al-Ghunyatu li Taalibi Tareeq il Haqq

The Secret to the Miraculous Curing Power of Honey

•March 16, 2012 • 3 Comments

Sh. Ahmad b. Idris R said: “Eating it cures the spiritual diseases if it is eaten with that intention, and gives one gnosis and lights, by the traces of revelation in it, as God says, Allah in Honeycomb“Your Lord gave revelation to the bees” (16:68)…. until “Therein is a remedy for men” (16:69). Indeed the sweetness of the divine address became infiltrated into bees and has remained in their progeny who inherit it from generation to generation. They eat bitter things that become sweet in their stomach, as one observes. Thus therein is a remedy for men both physically and spiritually because its fundament is the divine address which is the Qur’an, the word of God. And the Qur’an is a remedy for what is in man’s breast, and right guidance and mercy for the believers.”
Al-Tabari said in his Tafsir of 16:69

حدثنا نصر بن عبد الرحمن، قال: ثنا الـمـحاربـيّ، عن لـيث، عن مـجاهد: { فِـيهِ شِفـاءٌ للنَّاسِ } قال: فـي القرآن شفـاء.

Imam Mujahid R mentioning regarding ‘In it, is healing for mankind’ that the healing in honey is due to the Quran within it.

About Imam Mujahid R
He was born in 20H or 21H during the Caliphate of Umar R. He was a well known teacher and explainer of the Quran and a famous preserver of hadeeth. He studied with Ibn Abbas for sometime, learning the explanation of the Qur’aan. As a result of this he possessed great knowledge.
Imam Dhahabi R said: "The whole Ummah is agreed upon Mujaahid’s greatness and using him for evidence. The authors of the six books of hadeeth have also narrated from him."
Imaam Mujahid states that he recited the Qur’aan 3 times to Ibn Abbas R. After reciting every verse to him he would ask the reason behind the revelation of the verse.
Ibn Taymiyyah R said: "Mujahid studied the Qur’aan with Ibn Abbaas, he stopped and questioned him about each and every verse and noted all of his comments. That is why (Sufyaan) ath-Thawree said, ‘If the comments of Mujahid reach you then it is enough.’ This is also the reason why Imam Shafi and Imam Bukhari relied on Mujaahids explanations. Similarly Imam Ahmad and others of his like, who have commented on the Qur’aan, quote the words of Mujahid more than the words of any other person."
Imam Mujaahid said: "Often when I would go on a journey, Abdullah Ibn Umar would hold the strap of my ride and stand as an attendant."

Sufyan al-Thawri R: On Subsistence…

•January 8, 2012 • 1 Comment

Sufyan al-Thawri R said, “Live moderately. Beware of imitating arrogant people. And in your food, drink, clothing, and means of conveyance, seek out that which is not specifically purchased by profligate and extravagant spenders. And when you seek out advice, let the people you go for advice be the people of piety – people who fear Allah (the Possessor of might and majesty) and who are trustworthy.”

Sufyan said, “In our view, a person does not have an understanding of the religion until he thinks of a hardship as a blessing, and comfort and luxury as being a hardship.”

Sufyan said, “Zuhd (abstinence from the dunya) means not having long-term hopes for this world, and it does not mean eating coarse food and wearing a tattered robe.”
A man said to Sufyan, “Advise me.” Sufyan said, “Work for this world in proportion to the time you will stay in it. And work for the Hereafter in proportion to the time you will stay in it (for eternity)- and peace (be upon you).”

Sufyan said, “If you want to know the true value of this world, look at the value (and character) of those people who have it (i.e., of those people who are rich and prosperous).”

When Sufyan was asked whether or not a person in debt should eat meat, he replied, “No,” meaning that having a debt can be great burden upon a person in the Hereafter and that a person in debt should therefore forsake certain life’s luxuries so that he can repay his debt.

Source: The Biography of Sufya al-Thawri, Compiled by Salahuddin Ibn Ali ibn Abdul Mawjood.

Sufyan al-Thawri R: Partners in Sins of Extravagance

•January 3, 2012 • 1 Comment

One day Sufyan al-Thawri R, with a friend, was passing the door of a notable. The friend gazed at the portico (porch/entrance to a building). Sufyan rebuked him, "If you and your like did not gaze so at their palaces, they would not commit such extravagance. By gazing you become partners in the sin of this extravagance."

Source: Tadhkirat al-Awliya

Sufyan ath-Thawri ibn Said  (716–778) was a tabi’i Islamic scholar, Hafiz and jurist, founder of the Thawri madhhab.

Shah Waliullah R: The Basis of the Quranic Sciences

•October 17, 2011 • 1 Comment

[Regarding the Islamic reformation of the intellect…]

The most important thing that Allah SWT revealed to Ibrahim AS was reminding people of the clear signs of Allah, His exalted attributes, and His cosmic and personal blessings, until it was confirmed in a way to which nothing could be added that He is worthy of having them sacrifice all their comforts for Him, that they should prefer remembering Him over thinking of anything else, should love Him greatly, and worship Him to the furthest extent of their efforts. Allah added to this for Musa AS reminding people of the "Days of Allah," that is, the explanation of Allah’s requital of the obedient and the disobedient in this world, [Especially the punishment of the previous nations who turned away from the teachings of their prophets] and His transposing of blessings for adversities, so that fearing sins and a strong inclination to acts of obedience were represented in their hearts.

For our Prophet SAWS, He included along with these two things the warnings and good tidings about the theconclusiveproofgodevents of the grave, and what follows it, and an explanation of the properties of piety and sin. Simply knowing about these things is not sufficient; rather they must be repeated and reiterated frequently and observed at all times, and kept in view until the intellectual faculties are filled with them and the limbs are guided by them.

These three things (recalling the Days of Allah, giving warning and good tidings, and explaining the properties of piety and sin) along with two other ones, one of them the explanation of the rules of compulsory and forbidden, and so on, and the second of them how to dispute with the unbelievers, are five arts which are the basis of the sciences of the great Quran.

Shah Waliullah, Hujjat Allah al-Baligha (The Conclusive Argument from God), Translation by M. Hermansen

About Shah Waliullah R
Shah Waliullah Muhaddith Dehlvi (February 21, 1703 – August 20, 1762) was an Islamic scholar and reformer. He was born during the reign of Aurangzeb Alamgir in India and worked for the revival of Muslim rule and intellectual learning in South Asia. He despised the divisions and deviations within Islam and its practice in India and hoped to "purify" the religion and unify all Indian Muslims under the "banner of truth". He is considered by many to be the most important thinker of pre-modern South Asia.

Sh. Abdul Qadir Jilani R: Advice to his son…

•October 13, 2011 • 2 Comments

Shaikh ‘Abd ar-Razzaq R asked his father, Sh. Abdul Qadir Jilani R for advice, and he R responding by saying:

"O my son, may Allah (Exalted is He) bestow His enabling grace upon us, and upon you and all the Muslims. Āmīn.

"This you must know and understand: I am advising you to practice true devotion [taqwā] to Allah, and obedience to Him, and adherence to the Sacred Law [Shar’], and careful observance of the limits [hudūd] set by Him.

"O my son, may Allah (Exalted is He) bestow His enabling grace upon us, and upon you and all the Muslims. You must also know that this Spiritual Path [Tarīqa] of ours is founded upon the Book and the Sunna, and integrity of [the feelings within] the breasts, the generosity of the hand, the giving of liberal donation, abstinence from crudity, endurance of injury, and readiness to pardon the mistakes of our spiritual brethren [ikhwān].

"I am also advising you, O my son, to make a practice of spiritual poverty [faqr], which means preserving the ordinances of the Shaikhs, maintaining good relations with spiritual brethren, giving sincere counsel to juniors and seniors alike, and refraining from argument, except where matters of religion are at stake.

"O my son, may Allah (Exalted is He) bestow His enabling grace upon us, and upon you. You must also know that the true significance of spiritual poverty [faqr] is that you are not in need of anyone like yourself, while the true significance of spiritual affluence [ghinā] is that you are independent of anyone like yourself. As for spiritual culture [tasawwuf], it is a state that does not belong to anyone who indulges in idle talk and gossip. When you have an opinion to offer, you should not begin by expressing it in terms of knowledgeability. You should rather present it initially as an expression of sympathetic friendliness. This is because knowledgeability tends to alienate the listener, whereas friendliness makes him feel comfortably at ease.

"O my son, may Allah (Exalted is He) bestow His enabling grace upon us, and upon you and all the Muslims. You must also know that spiritual culture [tasawwuf] is built on eight fundamental qualities, namely:

  1. Liberal generosity [sakhā’]
  2. Contentment [ridā’]
  3. Patience [sabr]
  4. Symbolic instruction [ishāra]
  5. Living away from home [ghurba]
  6. The wearing of wool [sūf]
  7. Wandering travel [siyāha]
  8. Spiritual poverty [faqr]

· Liberal generosity [sakhā’] is the special virtue of Allah’s Prophet Ibrahim (AS).

· Contentment [ridā’] is the special virtue of Allah’s Prophet Ishaq (AS).

· Patience [sabr] is the special virtue of Allah’s Prophet Ayyub  (AS).

· Symbolic instruction [ishāra] is the special talent of Allah’s Prophet Zakariyya (AS).

· Life in exile [ghurba] is the special characteristic of Allah’s Prophet Yusuf (AS).

· The wearing of wool [sūf] is the special property of Allah’s Prophet Yahya (AS).

· Wandering travel [siyāha] is the special feature of Allah’s Prophet Isa (AS).

· Spiritual poverty[faqr] is the special characteristic of Allah’s Prophet  and Messenger, our dear friend, our chieftain and our intercessor [shafī’] the owner of vast respect, Muhammad the Chosen [al-Mustafā] (may Allah bless him and give him peace, and may He ennoble, honor, glorify and exalt him).

"You must also regard it as your duty, O my son, to maintain a dignified detachment in the company of the rich, and an attitude of humble self-effacement in the company of the poor. You must practice sincere devotion [ikhlās], which means forgetting about the impression you may be making on your fellow creatures [khalq], and paying constant attention to the view of the Creator [Khāliq].

“You must not entertain suspicious doubts about Allah, where the material means (asbāb) are concerned. You must rely on him with confidence in all circumstances and conditions. You must not entrust your needs to anyone else, on the basis of some connection between you and him, such as kinship, affection and friendship.

"It is incumbent upon you to provide the spiritually needy (fuqara) with three forms of service. The first of these is modest humility. The second is good moral conduct. The third is a complete lack of selfishness. You must put your lower self [nafs] to death, so that you may come to life. The nearest of all creatures [khalq] to Allah (Exalted is He) is the one who is richest in good character [khuluq], and the most meritorious of all deeds is the preservation of the innermost being [sirr] from paying attention to anything apart from Allah.

"It is also incumbent upon you, when you are together with fuqara, to engage in the mutual counseling of patience [sabr] and the mutual counseling of truth [haqq]. As far as this world is concerned, two things should be enough for you: the fellowship of faqir and the respect of a wali.

"You must also know, O my son, that the faqir has absolutely no need of anything apart from Allah (Exalted is He).

"You must also know, O my son, that aggressive behavior toward someone below you is actually a form of weakness, while such behavior toward someone superior to you is a form of boastful pride. Spiritual poverty [faqr] and spiritual culture are two very serious matters, so you must not mix them with any kind of frivolity.

"This is my advice to you, and to anyone else among the seekers who is capable of heeding it. May Allah (Exalted is He) cause them to multiply, and may He enable you, and us, to succeed in fulfilling all that we have mentioned and explained. May He include us among those who follow in the footsteps of the righteous forebears [salaf], and who follow in their footsteps in honor of our master, our Prophet and our intercessor [shafī’] Muhammad. May Allah bless him, his family and his Companions, and may He grant them abundant peace, until the Day of Judgment [Yawm ad-Dīn]. Praise be to Allah, Lord of All the Worlds."

Source: Edited from As-Sayyid Ismā’īl Muhammad Sa’īd al-Qādirī, Al-Fuyūdāt ar-Rabbāniyya (Emanations of Lordly Grace)


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